Happy 9th Birthday PokeBeach!

In 1999 when I was only 10 years old, I decided I wanted to create a Pokemon website. At the time, Pokemon was one of my three major hobbies in life. And so I worked fervently day and night to make my dream a reality – learning HTML and web design, working at other Pokemon websites to learn how they do it, becoming a leader of certain parts of them, and trying to get involved in as many of my school’s writing-based activities as I could. After four years and several private incarnations of the website, PokeBeach officially launched on July 15th, 2003 when I was only 14 years old and about to enter high school. And now I’m a 23 year old graduate student going into my second year at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts! Crazy!

I made a promise in my very first post here in July 2003 that I would never abandon this website, and, as you can see, I always keep my promises (except on April Fools Day :D). I’m happy in many respects that I’ve kept the site going for this long because it’s taught me innumerable experiences about working with other people, interacting with a large public audience, managing your life when you have ten different things on your plate, bringing ideas to life, always finding a way, and turning your passion into something productive that everyone can utilize (if these points sound vague, it’s because maintaining this site has taught me everything anyone would ever want to know and it’s impossible to ever put it into words).

Nine years. Almost a decade. Happy times, sad times, infuriating times, times laden with knives and bullets directed at certain people and official companies (some thoughts don’t become reality!), times full of excitement and pure ecstasy, times full of disappointment, times full of doubt, and always just trudging through it all no matter what was going on. It was a long, hard, and often public process, especially when things went awry. I don’t know if it was always worth it, either – there were times where I couldn’t spend time with my family at all – times where I just locked myself in my room. Times where Pokemon work > everything else. I do have many, many, many regrets and would definitely do things differently if I could, but alas, nobody lives their life perfectly the first time and we should never expect that. We need pain in our lives to grow as people – without pain, we cannot grow.

Right now, my time on PokeBeach has been more limited in comparison to previous years. The whole film school thing is an intense experience. Not the making movies part. That part is easy once you get past the technical mumbo-jumbo. (I wish I could show you guys some of the shorts I’ve made, but we’re not allowed to exhibit them.) The hard part is trying to network with other people since my fellow film students are the people I’ll essentially be working with in the industry one day. There’s an art to it that I haven’t quite mastered yet. And since my ultimate dream is to make a live action Pokemon movie, I have to do anything I can to work my way up and turn that dream into a reality, even if it means sacrificing some of my time on this site. Makes sense, right? I wonder if any of my visitors are filmmakers too? Say hi if you are! Let’s “network.” :p

July 15th, 2013. Everything is going to change here. There’s another reason things have been the way they are lately. All will be revealed in due time.